The African coffees roasters have been sending lately have been out of this world, so let’s keep that trend up with Folk City Roasters’ Duromina Cooperative from Ethiopia. This is a washed coffee coming to us via Upper Bucks, Pennsylvania and without further ado on this fine Hump Day, let’s drink some coffee!
FOLK CITY ROASTERS ETHIOPIA DUROMINA COOPERATIVE
Folk City Roasters was founded by James Arnold with a DIY aesthetic and the goal to be, “stripped of everything unnecessary to the task of getting well roasted coffee to the people who want it… no coffee shop. No cart. Just a building, the coffee, and a roaster.” James was up and running after an Indiegogo campaign to help offset the roaster costs and was cranking out coffee by the end of November 2016. Folk City has a subscription service and online sales as well as being carried in local stores and cafes around Upper Bucks in Pennsylvania.
James sourced this morning’s coffee, a washed Ethiopian, from my pals at Coffeeshrub (the commercial arm of Sweet Marias, everyone’s favorite home roasting shop!). Coffeeshrub have been working with the Duromina Cooperative closely for the past 5 years, allowing them the pick of the lots to offer to their customers. Duromina was founded with the help of a NGO that set up business advisors, agronomists and managers to assist each co-op they worked with not only on the growing and processing side of things, but on running a proper business, which is pretty exceptional in Africa. Duromina is located near the town of Agaro in southwestern Ethiopia and has growing altitudes of 1900-2100masl. Duromina roughly translates to “Make More Money!” and it’s an important reminder that this morning beverage for us represents survival, life and prosperity to the farmers and producers at origin. Duromina has been so successful that even NPR ran a story on the co-op a handful of years ago. To round out the details… this is a washed coffee of mixed heirloom varietals and James gives us tasting notes of, “dark honey, nectarine syrup, bergamot” for this coffee.
I am using my standard pourover setup of a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of Third Wave Water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. My Handground grinder was set to 3 for this coffee and it hit the 3:30-ish mark for brewing time. Taking my first sips reveals this is going to be a nice, sweet, easy drinking cup. I would call this coffee medium to medium-light in body but the flavors have good intensity and give this coffee extra presence on my palate. There is a lot of peach/nectarine “stonefruit” sweetness and flavor that hits my palate right up front in the sip. It’s sweet and dense like peach juice, but there’s a little tartness and brightness I’d associate with nectarines or even apricots (although, for my “ranking” system, apricots are even a little brighter and more acid-forward, so that’s why I’d agree with the nectarine descriptor for this coffee). For me, most of the acidity in this cup is coming from the peach/nectarine angle, but there is a little lemon candy in there, too. All that fruity brightness is anchored nicely by that heavy sweetness. This coffee is like liquid candy in that regard. It’s bright and fruity but super sweet, too. This is not a cloying sweetness, but it’s pushing that envelope and I like that! So many washed Ethiopian coffees feature that Earl Grey tea-like body and flavor with a splash of lemon (which I also love), so this super sweet, balanced, nectarine bomb is a real standout. Even in the aftertaste I get distinct peach and nectarine flavors like I’d just eaten one of those fruits!
This is an outstanding coffee. The African coffees roasters have been sending my way have been truly exceptional this year and this one is right up there with the best of them. Duromina’s hard work is really honored by Coffeeshrub and Folk City Roasters, completing that chain from seed to cup with a coffee that is super drinkable, super laid-back, delicious and familiar and yet exciting and dynamic at the same time. This is a no-brainer if you’re considering what your next washed African coffee should be!